When Maj. Gen.William Tecumseh Sherman of the Union Army began his famous march from Atlanta to the sea it ended with the capture of the port of Savannah. His forces followed a “scorched earth” policy. I think they still hate Yankees about that. I intended to use the “leave not a trace” policy with my approach.
Yesterday, I came from the sleepy city of Brunswick and rolled in nicely to a new condo development right outside Savannah. It’s my home for a couple of days. While I don’t feel tired at all, I had planned to spend an extra day in key places. Savannah was one of them. This will also give me an opportunity to recharge and plan ahead instead of the daily plan of where I’m going to stay the next.
The day started out weird. Just as I was going to bed the night before I suddenly remembered my checking out at Win-Dixie with a few items and then selecting to get back $40 cash on my debit card. But I knew immediately that I had not taken the money and rushed out. I would imagine everyone has done this at one time or another. For me and my cheapo scheme, $40 cash is a big loss. It’s about 1/2 of my self-imposed daily budget.
So, I left Brunswick at about 7:00 a.m. just in time to get to the store opening to desperately argue my case. By then, I had no receipt and only a strange remembrance of the amount of the transaction $58.19 and the time I was there. Lucky for me the store manager went straight to work and viewed the video tape for the day (they did not cash out the station) and gave me the $40! Good Lawd Almighty! I’ve been saved! It was a good omen for the rest of the day.
After leaving the congestion of any populated area the road once again opens up and bike traveling gets easier. Shoulders appear and by the middle of the day there are times where minutes go by where no vehicles are in sight. Today, I was blessed with a bit of a tailwind.
My strategy is to get a quick breakfast or at least coffee by 8 and then roll on until about 10 and find a diner or something like it for a big breakfast to get me through until the finish (estimated 2-3 p.m.). But, without know what’s ahead, even short-term plans need adjusting.
I stumbled upon a minor roadside attraction – the Smallest Church in America. More about that at another time….
There was not many signs of commerce along the way so I realized I needed to just create something and pulled into a gas station (all of which now sell food to make a living and gas as a loss leader) and buy something to eat with Gatorade to re-hydrate (mid-80s today).
Here at the Red Rooster station I got into a discussion with a friendly guy asking me where I’m going. (I pause here to acknowledge that I’m looking very strange here in biking gear in the middle of Georgia!) He says “Oh wow, I used to live in Atlantic City and I was a dealer at the Revel…until I got laid off. My cousin said to come here until I figured out what to do next. And, I’m still here.” He added, “Now I know. I’m going to buy my own business so I don’t have to work for anyone else. A wise person told me you can’t get rich working for someone. You have to do it on your own.” Ah, the wisdom of the road! I didn’t want to crush his dream and totally agreed.
So, off I went without a full breakfast and adjusting to the idea of a full lunch. The body was now begging for something more. After 5 hours of riding, just about noon, I finally came upon a town big enough to have a place to eat called Midway. And, there was Captain Joe’s, a popular small restaurant that was perfect for a great Shrimp Po-Boy with the best sweet potato fries I ever had.
I still had 25 miles to go and traffic and civilization began to interrupt as I neared Savannah. Soon I was at my destination and arrived around 3:30 after waiting on a freight train crossing for 1/2 hour.
The night’s stay and the next would be in a new condo unit in Savannah’s Georgetown suburb shared with a couple of guys. It’s 10 miles south of the city’s center and an Uber ride away. I’ve conquered the South…at least for now.